By Omeiza Ajayi
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it supports indigenous efforts to improve the electoral process, saying it was working with the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) to automate the voting process.
Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, in a statement, said the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, had led a team from NASENI to the INEC headquarters “to demonstrate a machine they had developed, which they said could register voters, facilitate the process of electronic voting in five different elections at the same time and also collate results”.
He said that contrary to some media reports, the commission was actually very receptive to the innovation.
“The Director General of NASENI, Dr Mohammed Haruna affirmed that the machine was developed in response to the challenges the Commission encountered during the 2011 general elections”, Oyekanmi said.
“The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu praised the initiative and described it as a step in the right direction. He explained that electoral issues were legal processes rooted in the Nigerian Constitution, the Electoral Law and INEC Guidelines. He said the Commission would immediately set up a Joint Technical Committee with NASENI to take a close look at the new device and report back on its findings. He immediately named members on the Commission’s side. The Minister quickly responded that his Ministry would also constitute its own team get back to the Commission within 24 hours.”